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Whit Merrifield (toe) ironman streak to end at 553 games

Jul 8, 2022; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield (15) hits a single against the Cleveland Guardians during the third inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Royals second baseman/outfielder Whit Merrifield is in a walking boot and will be sidelined until after the All-Star break with a bone bruise and ligament swelling in his right toe.

The injury will end Merrifield’s ironman streak of 553 consecutive games played, a Royals franchise record. Cal Ripken Jr. holds the major league record of 2,632 straight games.

The Royals play a doubleheader Monday against the Detroit Tigers.

“It’s unfortunate it had to happen this way,” Merrifield said Monday, per MLB.com. “I’ve been lucky, a good word for some instances, but I put myself in a position to play every day physically, mentality-wise, I show up ready to play no matter the circumstances.”

Merrifield, 33, was injured in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Guardians, Royals manager Mike Matheny said. Merrifield exited the game and was replaced at second by Nicky Lopez while Emmanuel Rivera entered the game at third and replaced Merrifield in the leadoff spot.

Initial X-rays were negative.

Merrifield, a two-time All-Star, is batting a career-worst .240 with five home runs and 45 runs. He’s stolen 14 bases. He’s a career .286 hitter with 73 HRs and 173 stolen bases.

It’s not yet clear if the Royals will put Merrifield on the injured list.

The Royals did make three moves Monday. They recalled left-hander Angel Zerpa from Double-A Northwest Arkansas and appointed him as the 27th man for the twin bill.

They also reinstated LHP Daniel Lynch from the IL and designated LHP Foster Griffin for assignment.

–Field Level Media